Being raised in Bloomsburg, PA there were a few things that were certain: winter storms would shut down many roads, “The Fountain” would be the backdrop for every formal photo you would take, and the Bloomsburg Fair would take over the town every year at the end of September, literally.
Most restaurants and small businesses would close in favor of opening a stand on the fair grounds and all schools were out of session so that agricultural students to spend their time showing livestock. The rest of us? We’d spend our time eating our way around the fairgrounds.
Having never missed a Bloomsburg Fair in my lifetime, I am uniquely qualified to share some insider tips and tricks. From the best places to eat, to where to go if you need to take a seat and people watch, this post is going to cover it all!
The 163rd Bloomsburg fair 2018 will be held September 21st through September 29th. Last year, the fair hosted over 405,000 people—proving I am not alone in my affinity towards this event.
The grandstand pulls crowds with performances from Chris Daughtry, Darci Lynne, and Melissa Etheridge. But if you are like me, you are at the fair for one reason, and one reason only: Fair Food.
The fair hosts 902 vendors this year, so the options my feel overwhelming. My years of experience can be used to ensure that you never waste a bite on anything but the best of what the Bloomsburg Fair has to offer. Here’s my list of insider information for the 2018 Bloomsburg Fair:
Friday, September 21st is “Fair Preview Day” This means admission is just $3.00!
But beware… not all vendors will be operational.
Students ages 13-18 get in for free on Tuesday, September 25th and Friday, September 28th.
On Monday, September 24th is Senior day, when anyone over 65 years old gets in free of charge.
You can park on the fairgrounds for $5 and take a free shuttle to the entrance gate. Many residents with properties adjacent to fair entrances allow vehicles to park on their lawns for fees between $3-$8. If you need to be very close to the gate, this will be a better bet. In choosing a family-owned parking area, you are also supporting a local family who has likely been affected by recent flooding.
PRO TIP: If you are into rides, you can purchase a $15 All You Can Ride pass here!
Right outside the cattle barn you can find a can of soda or bottle of water for $0.50 and a hotdog for the same antique price.
Located on 3rd Street 96. Get a gallon to-go on your way out. You’ll want some in your fridge!
I dare you to resist the fudge sample when you walk by, and when you have a taste you will be hooked. This is hands down the best chocolate fudge I have had.
With custom made options, you can create your own Whoopie pies! One filling features a brew from Turkey Hill Brewery, located a few miles up the road from the fair grounds. This food truck is located near the kids rides and the tractors.
PRO TIP: Most new food stands can be found hidden in this area, and typically it’s a little less crowded during busy times.
Get a regular with everything—you won’t be disappointed. It’s an Italian hoagie on a white roll, but their legendary dressing makes it special.
This is a very competitive category, but Unicorn Concessions Black Raspberry Shortcake wins a controversial victory over any Apple Dumpling you can find (with or without cinnamon ice cream).
These raspberries taste like they were picked yesterday, and the homemade raspberry sauce is a perfect balance with the ice cream.
PRO TIP: Share this with a friend. They are huge, and you have a lot more eating to do. Unicorn Concessions has three stands can be located on 7th street 102, 10th street 115, and D Ave W 100.
Do not waste your stomach room on another fried treat… these are what you want: fresh cut fries, fried in Peanut Oil. My recommendation is to cover them in salt and vinegar, but ketchup is also available.
Worth the wait in line, this stand is a legend for good reason. They serve two items: ham sandwiches and beef sandwiches, both on a white roll wrapped in parchment paper. That’s it. And that’s enough.
Order your beef medium rare and enjoy the condiment station if you wish to customize. My father always told us that the horseradish would help balance the heavy sandwich and turn it healthy. You can decide for yourself how much to put on.
PRO TIP: Ask for a piece of foil and take half of this sandwich home. You need to save room for dessert!
If you are wondering why a game is listed in this food-focused blog post, you will understand soon.
Uncle Nick’s Candy game is a treat for all ages. Put a quarter down on a number, the wheel spins and, if you win, you could get a box of candy. My children have been saving their quarters all of September for this!